We are firmly in the throes of fall as October comes to an end. If you haven’t managed to down a fall beverage or two, it’s time to step up. Three local establishments have answered the call of fall.
318 1st Ave. SW, Rochester
The Loop is coming out with their new drink menu this weekend (if all goes as planned). Bar manager Charles Morris is really excited about the entertainment theme he developed. Drinks include the Ron Swanson (a pumped-up Old Fashioned made with an “all spice and cinnamon turbinado simple syrup with Knob Creek bourbon and filthy cherries,” says Morris), and Suit Up Barney Stinson (a twist on a Manhattan, made with grade A maple syrup, cherry bark and vanilla bitters and Bulleit Rye).
For something totally different, try El Cuñado. It’s made with blanco tequila, apple cider, honey simple syrup and elderflower liquor, plus a bit of cinnamon. “That one is going to be very cool,” says Morris.
315 S Broadway, Rochester
Lest we forget, it is the season for pumpkin spice everything, and Café Steam has your back. They make their pumpkin spice syrup in house using 100% organic, locally sourced ingredients. Steamed with milk (soy for me), their pumpkin spice latte (PSL for those in the know) hits the spot on a chilly fall morning. The depth of flavor is strong but it’s not overwhelming. “Everything is made in the shop fresh so we know we’re serving the best quality that we can, and trying to break the status quo so it’s not like everybody else’s,” says general manager and head barista Will Forsman.
If pumpkin isn’t your thing, try out their steamed cold press. “It’s one of our favorites,” says Will, “where we take our cold brew recipe and heat it up.” Café Steam is also bringing in new single origin coffees this week, and will be featuring a pu’er blend of tea from Mandala during the month of November.
1190 16th St. SW, Rochester
Cocktail creator Jason Zubay has made a knockout drink now being served at Zzest. It’s called Winter’s Heart, but don’t think for a moment the drink isn’t perfect for fall. Made with Colheita port wine, pear liqueur, house-made black pepper and maple syrups, angostura and mint, Zubay is extremely proud of the balance he’s created in this easy-to-love cocktail.
“It’s really well balanced,” he says, noting the fruitiness of the Colheita and the bitterness of the angostura, all mixed with the sweetness from the maple syrup and the fall flavor from sage, “It took me months to develop, as most of my drinks do, but this one I’m very proud of.” Though served on ice, there is a lovely warmth to the drink matched by its beautiful ruby jeweled tone.